JAMA Comments on the U.S. Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Automobiles and Automotive Parts

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) submitted comments in response to the Commerce Department Section 232 investigation into automobiles and automotive parts imports. Below is a summary of key points from JAMA’s comments.

JAMA has critical concerns regarding the Section 232 investigation into automobiles and automotive parts and the threat of import tariffs.

Tariffs would have a serious negative impact on the U.S. economy. Tariffs on imported automobiles and automotive parts would have a serious negative impact on American families and jobs. Studies estimate that tariffs could increase the price of an imported $30,000 car by about $6,400 and cause up to 195,000 U.S. workers to lose their jobs. Tariff retaliation from trading partners could result in more than 600,000 U.S. jobs lost.

Imported vehicles do not threaten U.S. national security. The very basis of the Section 232 investigation is wrong. Imported vehicles increase the options for users’ diversified needs with regard to vehicle supply while creating new demand in the market, and they have contributed to the sustainable growth of the U.S. automobile industry, including vehicle dealerships, thereby strengthening the U.S. economy.

Vehicle imports from Japan are not increasing. Japanese vehicle exports to the United States have been cut in half from the mid-1980s. This has been matched by a ten-fold increase in U.S. production of Japanese-brand vehicles since the mid-1980s, to nearly 3.8 million U.S.-built vehicles in 2017. As of 2017, JAMA members have cumulatively invested over $48 billion into their 24 manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S.

JAMA members have contributed significantly to U.S. manufacturing employment growth. In the immediate post-recession timespan, Japanese-brand automakers increased their U.S. direct manufacturing employment by 21%, whereas overall U.S. manufacturing employment increased by only 6% during this same period. As of 2017, JAMA members employ more than 92,000 American workers.

We must keep auto manufacturing in the U.S. globally competitive. The auto industry is changing rapidly as technology advances, and keeping auto manufacturing in the U.S. globally competitive means focusing on challenges with forward-thinking approaches. Through policies that expand opportunities for the effective integration of technology, manufacturing, and motor vehicle transportation, the U.S. auto industry can continue to hone its competitive edge.

Click here to read JAMA’s full comment submission.

Read our 2018-2019 contributions report to learn more about JAMA members’ strong commitment to manufacturing and the American workforce.

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